Wednesday 30 July 2014

Essie Nail Polish Resorts Collection 2014 - Find Me An Oasis

Essie Nail Polish Resorts Collection 2014 - Find Me An Oasis (£8.95 for 15ml from Nail Polish Direct)

Yet another nail varnish I've picked up because I happened to see it on another blog - it's an expensive habit! I haven't quite got another like this colour, at least in full size. I was attracted to it as, although I hate plain white on my nails, it just never looks right on me, I do like how it stands out and these very pale, milky shades do the same job.

I like Essie, they're good quality for the price and come in a range of interesting colours. The quality is there and I was able to get a good even coverage with just two coats - it's quite hard to be even with pale shades sometimes. It dried relatively quickly - a good 30 minutes does the job and with a top coat you can expect it to last a week without chipping.

A gorgeous shade which, although I do like it on my fingernails I do also believe it makes a fantastic colour on the toenails, this will make your feet look pretty no matter what. 

Sunday 27 July 2014

Sunday Weigh-In: Dear Diary 21st July - 27th July 2014

Another random of week of distraction, if you saw my post from yesterday you'll know that I went through with adopting a cat from the RSPCA, see here if you missed it.

Monday 21st July
I'm pretty much too nervous/excited to think properly this week. Everything is ticking along fine, today I'm just waiting to find out a bit more about how my application is going - today they talk to the vets. I'm feeling a bit distracted but food wise I do well, steps - just hit over 10,000 and I decided to keep tonight as my rest night as if we do manage to adopt Sam I won't have much time to myself so it's a good time to carry on with my clear out. I'm in my shower when I get a phone call from the RSPCA about a house visit which is arranged for tonight, 20 minutes after the call to be exact so I finish my shower and get dressed. Once this is done (successfully done I should add) I get on and we have tea.

Total steps today: 10,060

Tuesday 22nd July
Distracted but keeping busy, again food wise I'm good. I do better with my steps today and I make the effort to work out when I get home. I get the extra push I need to get on as I found out I've been successful with the adoption! I'm over the moon and do my 20 minutes HIIT along with 8 minutes weight training. I'm too excited to think straight!

Total steps today: 11,245

Wednesday 23rd July
If I was distracted the last two days the best way to describe me today is on another planet. I'm very keen so we're heading to pick up/adopt Sam tonight. I do quite a bit of pacing at work, I leave a little early to pick up some treats for him. As it will be Sam's (now Samhain) first night I decide to skip the work-out tonight - mainly as the room I use will be Samhain's room while he settles in so there will be no room for me to use anyway.

Total Steps today: 12,649 

Thursday 24th July
I this is Samhain's first day I've taken the day off work which does mean my steps are down, I manage to get them over 5000 plus I fit in a 35 minutes high intensity work-out (using one of my dvds by The Firm) and keep my eating under control. All in all a lovely day with Samhain.

Total steps today: 5,142

Friday 25th July
Back in work today, James is off with Samhain along with my parents. Food wise I'm under control but my steps are slightly under, but only just - I take it off when I shower so surely I would have just about made it really! I keep tonight as my rest night, I wouldn't have been able to get on anyway as I'm too excited about spending more time with Samhain.

Total steps today: 9,954 

Saturday 26th July
Ah, finally the weekend! I've managed to have better structure with my food at the weekend keeping it light but good with yoghurt, granola and fruit for breakfast and having protein shakes after workouts. My steps aren't up to 10,000 but I have better things on my mind, I'm just aiming to exercise and get my steps to at least 5,000.

Total steps today: 5,516

Sunday 27th July
This weekend feels like it is lasting longer than usual - mainly as I'm not sleeping that much, a mixture of the heat and checking on Samhain every 30 minutes! Woken up when he jumps from a height onto my stomach, what a wake up! I like getting up early at the weekend, especially when I manage to get on with stuff. I plan to do my usual Yogalates (that hasn't been that regular recently) along with some normal pilates early on and I just about manage that, I think I finished it all by 12:30, now in 95 minutes I've burned close to 500 which is pretty good but when you see that I managed to burn only slightly less than that yesterday during a 35 minute workout you can see how impressive my usual workouts are. The pilates is necessary though and I'm now left feeling, stretched, slightly achy and full worked out, a nice end to the weekend. Keeping the food pretty much the same as yesterday which also include a slightly slack, but within my calories tea. Steps are poor again, I'm still hoping to get to 5,000 though.

Total steps today: I usually say TBC but always forget to update so I'll just say what I'm up to now, 2,570

Short term and Long term goals are currently the same so I'm going to look towards a proper short term goal as well as the 37 miles in one week at some point soon. 

Saturday 26 July 2014

Please Welcome a New Member to Our Family....Samhain

Just a few short weeks ago we sadly lost our beloved cat The Beast. Now The Beast had only been with us for 6 months so it was heartbreaking BUT he wasn't 6 months old he was 18 and ill, this doesn't make me miss him less but he did have a life before me. Now a lot of people asked me if I was going to get another cat, although a few asked if I was going to get a replacement - I pointed out to those that you can't get a replacement for a cat which is an individual, living being not a TV, although not in such an grumpy way as it sounds typed out. The main answer was I just couldn't think about it right now. Then something happened.

I was randomly looking at black cats from the area where The Beast was originally from. On one of the rescue sites from his area there was a note mentioning how much of a struggle it was to re-home black cats which I found amazing, although The Beast was my first black cat I've known many over the years - scarily running across the road for a bit of affection, I've not known any nicer cats, I don't even know why that is. So before I know it I was looking up our local RSPCA, there were a few number of black cats and again it mentioned how they struggled to be adopted - I'm absolutely shocked by this. There was one particular cat called Sam that I saw and I thought I could be what he needs.

Anyway that was Thursday 17th July, on Friday I mentioned it to my mum (James had already been debriefed) to see how she felt about it, until The Beast moved himself in she had been wary of going through the heartache and worry again. Whereas I, even though I was so broken when The Beast passed away and Tabby several years ago, I also feel bad not helping when I could. Luckily my mum was rather positive about the prospect of adopting another cat. Friday evening I'd decided I wanted to phone to see what to do next and if Sam was still up for adoption, I'd decided Sam was the one for us. I decided to wait until Saturday morning to phone, I could barely sleep Friday night waiting to call so by 8:30 I was on the phone leaving a message and by 10:30 I had a call back, by 12 I'd submitted the adoption forms and at 5:30 I got to see him person, as lovely as I'd imagined and hoped. The whole process went so quickly, I let them know that I was definitely interested and after that a few more checks were needed including phoning my vet and a house visit which all happened on Monday. We picked him up Wednesday evening, I couldn't believe how fast it went and here he is.

First ten minutes in the house
Catching a bit of sleep after a bit of house exploration
and even more sleep, just in a stretched out pose
Sam, now renamed Samhain (pronouncing it Sowin) - the new name was just tested at first to see if he would respond to this and as he did immediately we decided to stick with it. He is around 9/10 years old, in good health apart from a few broken teeth. He is remarkably affectionate and very playful. I'd be foolish to say he is completely settled as these things take time, he was with the RSPCA for 3 months so I'm not sure if he knows that where he is now is permanent. Add to that he needs to be kept in for the first month, then, the panic, small steps when we go out to get him used to the area - he is so curious I'll really have to watch him. There's a lot of worry but it's worth it.

One of many toys for him

Back to how he settled. On the night we brought him home we set up the little front room for him, this was the best room for him sadly this was the room The Beast died in, strangely it did fit the new beginning too. It's a nice cool quiet room that would suit him while settling in so his litter tray and bowls were left in there, although we would leave the door ajar. Well that was the plan, we were following the rules, as soon as we opened the door on the cat carrier all he wanted to do was explore the house, he's such a bold brave boy and this he did and over these few days he has continued to do.

He's getting settled using the litter box, slowly getting used to new noises, still loving to explore. He is eating well and sleeping well - he runs and licks his mouth in his sleep sometimes, well when he is really deeply asleep. He isn't shy, when he wants attention he lets you know. Plus he loves toys, I've really gone to town as he is really playful, so far his favourites are his Kong Kickeroo and his Yeowww Pollock cat nip toy. This is still the early stages, even though he has settled well I'm anxious about the day we first get to let him out, I'll be there with him but boy can he move.

The adorable Samhain

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Rococo Nail Varnish in Bad Robot: Molten Lava

Rococo Nail Varnish in Bad Robot: Molten Lava

This is a bit of a weird review as the product is pretty much sold out but before I go on with the review I'll just say if you see it somewhere get it, it was purchased from Space.NK and this nail varnish is absolutely amazing! I'd been dithering over it for a while myself - this is part of their Winter 2013 collection! I'm glad I picked it up in the sale though. 

Some metallic, iridescent style nail varnishes look good in the pot but don't live up to the effect when on the nails, this one looks just as fantastic. Two coats gives you a good even coverage. The silver iridescent is perfectly 90's and shines, it shimmers, it looks amazing. It dries remarkably quick, pretty much solid in 15 minutes. It's very long lasting, with a quick top coat your looking at a week without chipping.

It's such a shame that it is sold out but I wouldn't be surprised if it pops up on Ebay, as I said before, if you see it somewhere just get it, you won't regret it! 

Sunday 20 July 2014

Sunday Weigh-In: Dear Diary 14th July - 20th July 2014

I have to admit this has been another weird week, I'm still mourning the loss of The Beast however it is becoming easier and I've started focusing on what I can do to help other cats, but that is another update!

Monday 14th July
This is my last extra day off, it's still strange not to have The Beast around but I try to focus on enjoying my relaxing day but instead of keeping it as my usual rest day I decide to make this a work out day - will also make up for yesterday. Food wise I'm under as usual, a bit of a healthier day than yesterday but not ideal. Exercise wise I manage 20 minutes on the cross trainer, 10 minutes boxing (the heat, the gloves are too much) and 30 minutes pilates. Step wise, not 10,000 but not so good for being at home all day.

Total Steps: 7,599

Tuesday 15th July
Back at work so my steps are back on track, I also fit in 20 minutes of HIIT when I get home which is great! Food wise I'm under in all categories again - not by too much. When I'm back at work I have a much better diet as I always have my salad which has a nice mix, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, white cabbage and carrots along with my durum wheat, plus I have more fruit in the day. For tea we're bit unadventurous with veggie spag bol but we're trying to be quick.

Total Steps: 11,158

Wenesday 16th July
Back on track again with my steps and more exercise when I get home, I need to remember to log this on MFP! Cross Trainer and Weights, just around 40 minutes worth. Again food is fine, I indulge in my guilty pleasure of rice, vegetables and GRAVY! I'm starting to ache, not in a good way, by the time I got to bed.

Total Steps: 11,385

Thursday 17th July
Steps are good but not as good as the last two days, my back is still aching so I take it easy and make tonight a rest night as I was planning to walk home from work tomorrow - not too far, around 3 miles, but a lot of going down, up, down, up, down, and one final up. So very hilly. Food wise I'm okay again, as it is the night before my parents get back we do a lot of tidying so we get a Chinese, as usual we share a couple of dishes, we both only eat about a third of each, I always have even less of the Foo Yung, the beancurd dish is particularly nice tonight

Total Steps: 10,283

Friday 18th July
The weekend is here and I'm leaving work early to walk home. I end up not doing many steps during the day as I'm busy but I make up for it in the evening, plus I stop by the library to say hello to old colleagues and friends - plus I take a load of books! Walk back and treat myself to a Frappe Latte from Cafe Nero - this fits with my calorie goals although my main worry is always the carbohydrates. Pizza for tea, our usual weekend treat but a day early as James is working all weekend including staying late on Saturday. Each time we order I eat less and less, I tend to go for the smaller slices now so it's nice to have what could be argued is my favourite food once a week and that I don't go overboard. Current favourite topping is simply sweetcorn and green pepper!

Total Steps: 13,615

Saturday 19th July
A funny day, no Beast to run around after which always makes me sad, parents are back and James is at work. I wasted the day somewhat but my main goal right now is find a ton of stuff to get rid of - hopefully we'll be doing a car boot sale. There is also something else distracting me and something more important to do, more on that in the coming weeks. This did mean that when I was only 12 minutes in to my work-out I had to grab a shower and run out. Food wise okay, well under, but not wonderful choices.

Total Steps: 7,873

Sunday 20th July
Sunday is always funny, Grandma was down for lunch which is always just a bit of veg for me and a bit of pudding so it's a nice light lunch. It does take up most of the day, getting ready beforehand and cleaning up after. Usually I would do yogalates too but I think I'll be giving that a miss as I'm still trying to clear out my room - I did nothing really as I wasn't back home until close to 8 after having to run out. At least being busy stops me from snacking.

Total Steps: TBC

Short Term Goals
I want to focus on toning up slightly, it's nice to lose weight but it's nice to feel a bit tighter around the midriff.

Long Term Goals
Again, holiday! Try to make it up to 40 miles in one week although I know I won't have the time in the next few weeks. 

Saturday 19 July 2014

Clinique Chubby Stick Tint for Eyes in Lots o' Latte

I've had this tucked away in my make-up bag since last Christmas, I've been trying to be good and use some of my open products up but I've waited long enough and decided it was time to make good use of it. 

If you're familiar with Clinique Chubby Sticks for lips you'll know the format. I love thick eyeshadow pencils as they are quick and easy to use (even on the move), perfect for wearing to work - especially if you choose sleep over make-up in the mornings this can fit into any quick 5 minute routines. 

The colour I went for, Lots o' Latte, is a nice sensible brown with a slightly golden/bronze hue to it. It isn't a deep colour, at least on me, but it adds a gorgeous glow that really wakes up the eyes. Another thing making it perfect for work is its lasting quality, I've found it to last a good 8 hour shift, even on a hot, sweaty day. 

At £17.00 this isn't the cheapest eyehsadow pencil around but you could argue that the fact you only need to apply once a day means that you won't run out of it too soon. Now if this isn't your shade there are various other browns a long with plums, blues, peaches and pinks so something for everyone. They also make a really neat present - I bought one for my mum last Christmas and she loves it! 

What's in my Glossybox? July 2014

It feels like my two beauty box subscriptions are getting further and further apart - not that I mind - I'd love a surprise box every two weeks, if I had the money I would be subscribing to everything going! So although this box is later than usual it is very welcome. I've not been as keen on Glossybox recently but I'm pleased with the contents of this box (it even includes 4 full size products) which, this month, has the theme of Stars & Stripes - to coincide with the 4th July we have a box full of products from the good ole U.S. of A.

So what did I get? it's all after the cut.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

OPI Nail Lacquer in Kiss Me I'm Brazilian

I'm not a pink person - I say this frequently when talking about a new pink product I've picked up. However this kind of pink isn't me but it was part of the Copacababies mini set by OPI which contained three of the Brazil collection I really wanted. I love the mini sets as I never get through a full size bottle so this really works out as a great cheap option so even though this isn't the type of pink I'd go for I do know it will look great on my toenails. 

This is certainly a Penelope pink, it invokes though of both Lady Penelope and Penelope Pitstop. It's a bright, almost neon, beach pink, this is HOT pink. Now although the colour isn't my thing I know many people will love this colour it's youthful, fun and perfect for summer.

A couple of coats gave good even coverage and it dried in a reasonable amount of time, around 20 minutes until I could use my hands again. A clear top coats add longevity, you could wear it with the minor amount of chipping for a week making it perfect to wear on your holiday.

Sunday 13 July 2014

Sunday Weigh-In: Dear Diary 7th July - 13th July

This has been a horrible week, if you've seen my post earlier this week you'll already know why, I'm writing this Saturday night/Sunday morning as I couldn't bring myself to do anything at the time. I'm putting my charts up but not bothering listing steps for each day.

Monday 7th July
Determined to make sure this is a proper rest day and plan to have a bath when I get home. Eating is fine and I keep my steps up but no exercise tonight. When I arrived home The Beast was in a bit of a state, was caught short upstairs and managed to get poo caught in his tail and spread everywhere, he hides when I come back but it okay after a bit. Feel sorry for him but he perks up slightly and James convinces me it is best to carry on as normal so I get my bath.

Tuesday 8th July
Starts of as a normal day but as I'm worried about The Beast I get a lift home at lunch time leaving my lunch at work as I plan to come back. When I get home The Beast is slumped in the little front room in one of his favourite spots, he is unable to move and his head is floppy, he is still breathing but looks in pain. Later on I noticed he had brought up a load of blood. I call James and the vets out knowing it is time for him to pass away, I'm panicking, crying, pacing, gently stroking The Beast and kissing him, I'm trying to stay calm but I'm beyond broken, James makes it home before the end which was about 5 minutes before the vet arrives. I feel empty, devastated and guilty for not being with him earlier. I don't want to eat, I feel bad for eating. I don't exercise, I have no energy or will. I spend the rest of the night crying and walking about lost.

Wednesday 9th July
I'm in work but I still feel empty and broken, still crying. I don't feel like eating, I feel guilty for eating now The Beast can't, it's my last day in work this week, I forgot that I was having a long weekend full of film marathons. I had planned to spend the first day outside with The Beast, this wont be happening now except when I visit his grave. I don't eat anything until lunch then pick at what I had left on Tuesday, I keep focusing on the fact that it was made while The Beast was still alive. I try and exercise at night but I've eaten so little I collapse mid push up and start crying again.

Thursday 10th July
Nothing has changed, I feel blank and spend the day moving room to room sobbing. I do some exercise later. I spend some time trying to focus on the photos I'll get printed. Sometimes I feel a bit okay which then makes me feel guilty. I just wish I could go back in time to be with him again. I realise how much I tried hard for The Beast and how much time I spent running around after him, checking on him. I miss him even more.

Friday 11th July
James is off with me today so we head out to the gardens to feed the ducks, he's trying to take my mind of things and make me eat a little more, I have some yoghurt for breakfast and some vegetarian frankfurters for lunch, I still feel guilty. I hate the fact that I've discovered something new that I love now that The Beast isn't around, not that he could eat them but Burts lentil waves are beyond amazing. We carry on with the film marathon as usual.

Saturday 12th July
Carnival day, I almost forgot. Out with friends in the afternoon but I manage a full work-out in the morning. Yoghurt and granola for breakfast and a protein shake after my workout. A bit more lax in the evening during the continuation of our film marathon but all within my targets. I just miss my little guy so much.

Sunday 13th July
Still feeling deflated and empty, decided to have a proper rest day with my partner so we've just sat around watching a bit of telly, playing games. Not overeating but not eating the best meals or even 3. It struck me again how much I dote on The Beast and how I couldn't sleep late with him around, 10:30 I woke up today but I'd trade sleep to have him back. I'm going to focus more on myself in the coming weeks, starting tomorrow. I'm still being a bit morbid and at the moment I feel as if the sorrow is getting worse rather than batter. Tomorrow I'll focus on working out hard and heavy and planning some meals out for the week.

Short Term Goals
Focus on myself, getting my day to day eating in order along with exercise. I'll have a little more time to myself but I wish I could trade it. I'd like to be a bit more toned in the next few weeks.

Long Term Goals
Holiday - I need one even more so now so I'd like to be fit and lighter for that.

Saturday 12 July 2014

Lipstick Queen - Jungle Queen in Pop-Papaya Coral

Yet another Lipstick Queen lipstick, not only that bit another summer shade. I didn't actually choose this, I let James choose hoping the excitement of being able to pick the colour would detract from the fact that I was buying two new lippies (and a new perfume). 

This is described as a semi-sheer shade, with Vitamin E which conditions the lips. As mentioned this is semi-sheer but I find it to be more full on than some, it's highly pigmented and bright. It also lasts more like a normal lipstick as it clings to the lips slightly staining making the re-applications minimal. 

The colour really pops, a luminous almost neon mixture of orange, red and even somewhat a bit of pink in there. It's a real stand out statement shade, glossy to boot.

A gorgeous summer colour but also the type of coverage you'd want, not too heavy and moisturising. 

Friday 11 July 2014

What's in my Birchbox? July 2014

It's about this time of the year that I expect summer to be over, or possibly wish. I am more of an Autumn/Winter person - I do enjoy some sunshine and the odd beach holiday but day to day normal like mixed with hot sticky and mainly wet weather I just don't get. So it's my own fault that not only was I surprised by the summery feel of this box but I was shocked to see next months will be a bit of a summer special. This just highlights how askew my view of the passing seasons is, I'm already gearing up for Autumn.

As usual my Birchbox has a wealth of useful goodies in, they really know how to pack a punch with their items. Full of plenty of interesting brands and products another successful month means I doubt I'd ever have to consider cancelling my Birchbox subscription.

So what did I get? Well everything is after the cut as I don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone else.

Thursday 10 July 2014

How to Grieve?

This is not a question I'm answering, expect an answer to, nor is this a how to guide. Everyone is different and what it takes to move on is down to the individual. Why am I posting about this? Well, it's something I'm going through, something I should have been prepared for but as the last few months have proven you just can't be prepared. I have other posts typed up before it happened but it doesn't feel right posting them without addressing what has happened.

To some this might seem like a minor thing, I lost my pet, The Beast, my wonderful adorable recently adopted but elderly chap passed away on Tuesday. I had been worried about him after he wasn't acting so great when I came home Monday but as it seemed as if he had perked back up we both trundled along to work on Tuesday (something I feel guilty about now). I came home at lunchtime to check on him, this wasn't planned but I knew I needed to just go and see how he was doing, he was in the process of dying. James was called, the vet was called and I waited. James arrived and we just waited with him as he slowly passed away. It wasn't nice to see but I didn't want to abandon him. We knew he was ill and it was amazing that he passed away before euthanasia came into play. It had, in a way, been sudden, even though we knew he had this tumour his decline had only been in the last couple of weeks and even then the real decline hadn't been until this Monday.

I'm finding it hard to cope, to some he may have been just a cat but he truly meant so much more to me and James, though he had only been with us the last six months the impact had been that of a lifetime. He moved in at a bad time, my grandad had just died, in a way it was a bad time for The Beast too. It wasn't that he was neglected in his old home but the kids he grew up with moved far away leaving just one busy person in the house that had to go to work. This led him to wandering the street for company, often following the postman door to door. He was a sweetheart, the most affectionate cat I have ever had the fortune to be around. And we were fortunate, it's hard to cope with now but those few months with him were just perfect, he made the day worthwhile.

So I'm finding it hard, I feel guilt, I don't want to eat now because he can't enjoy his food. I just don't have the drive to get on, I feel miserable, I'm heartbroken. I don't know what to do with myself, I'm scared that if I don't think about him every second of the day I will somehow forget some aspect of him, his personality. He is buried feet away in the garden yet this feels too far away. I feel guilt, I worry we didn't do enough. I also wish we could go back to the beginning, or that he didn't die and that he was 8 not 18, and healthy. Nothing will change though I'll continue to panic, continue to believe he might trot in the room and desperately wish to hear the sound of litter being kicked along the hall.

Grieving is a horrible process, there isn't a fix, no cure, it's just a case of waiting, time makes it easier but at the moment every second feels like an hour. 

Monday 7 July 2014

Competition Wins! Ojon Hair Goodies + £500 ASOS Vouchers

I'm a competition lover, it's a bit of a pastime for me initially taken up when I was off work ill awaiting surgery and recovering. I don't enter every competition I see but I enter plenty, now I don't win all the time but this week I'd had two wins, two fairly big ones!

Thanks to Chrysler, although I haven't got a photo to show of the congratulatory email, I've landed myself £500 worth of ASOS vouchers! I'm so over the moon, I buy a lot of my clothes from ASOS - I've just had a big parcel arrive last weekend of clothing I ordered last Monday! I'm going to save this voucher for when I've got closer to my goal size, I plan to treat myself to a couple of luxury pieces for a change. It's really helped make my week which is a great achievement as I've been full of a cold.

Time to talk about my next win which as you can see I can show off. A selection of Ojon goodies which means I can get my hair back in to great shape - I don't think it has ever recovered after years of applying colour.

It's nice to just win one item but a full selection like I received is even better as you can truly get a chance to see how well something works for you. The only thing I'm now paranoid about is making sure my dad doesn't work his way through it like he sometimes does with my shampoo then claims he is completely innocent. I wouldn't mind too much but he is pretty much bald so they're going slightly to waste.

Now that's it for now, it's so exciting to win but it makes you want to win more - but you can't win everything! I hope some of you guys are also having some luck with competitions. If you don't enter them then I recommend you get entering! I used to always ignore them in my magazines believing I wouldn't win but I've truly won some amazing products. 

Sunday 6 July 2014

Sunday Weigh-In: Dear Diary 30th June - 6th July

Monday 30th June
What a funny day, just before lunch I was feeling full of energy and planning to do a touch of yoga tonight but my energy really started to fade fast and I could barely keep my eyes open by 3pm so tonight has remained my rest day. My steps have hit over 10,000 but only by a few hundred but that will do as my day hasn't been overly calorie laden. Looking forward to a bit of gelato tonight after some gorgeous aubergine bake and vegetarian schnitzel. I managed to make it to bed before 7! Although not eaten just yet, I plan to be asleep by 10.30pm, no later. Hopefully I''ll be full of energy tomorrow.

Total steps today: 11,195

Tuesday 1st July
Another strange day, food wise I was fine, I also met my steps and then some. The one thing odd was that I felt incredibly tired, completely exhausted, I could barely keep my eyes open all day. When I returned home I found that I'd won a prize, Chrysler had a competition running on a few magazine competition sites that I enter, and I won! The prize happens to be £500 worth of ASOS vouchers! I couldn't believe it - that gave me a little perk and I found myself pacing back and forth until James came home to tell him! Now this voucher has given me another goal, it lasts until July 2015 so I've decided to save this to go towards buying a few excellent (expensive) pieces when I reach my target. It gave me some determination and I managed to make it through a work-out although I felt weaker and wasn't able to perform as well as I usually do :(

Total steps today: 12,811

Wednesday 2nd July
Hooray! I'm ill! Okay, the hooray isn't really for being ill, it's just a relief that my lack of usual energy and performance with my work-out last night wasn't because I was losing my mojo! Being ill does suck, I went into work, but felt so lousy I was home just after 11, because of the walk to the bus, back, and being back and forth earlier I managed to meet my steps. When I got home I had my dinner, I couldn't face my usual so instead had soup and toast (which is actually more calorific), I did then have a bit of chocolate (my Easter chocolate - I still have Easter chocolate left, that is an achievement in itself) I just felt like eating as I was so exhausted, I ended up just going to sleep shortly afterwards for a few hours, when I did wake up I decided to try and do a clear out that I'd planned even before the £500 voucher win, inspired by my decision to treat myself to some Sweaty Betty work out gear. Anyway I decided to get up and do stuff because I wanted to make sure I sleep well tonight so hopefully will feel better for work tomorrow.

Total steps today: 10, 908

Thursday 3rd July
I'm off work, I felt so lousy when I woke up, I found it incredibly hard to drag myself out of bed, my throat is swollen and my nose is sore. I'm finding it laborious to breathe so for now I rest - apart from having to get up for hot drinks and to sort out The Beast - that will certainly get some steps up. Ended the day under 10,000 but only by a couple of thousand which isn't bad for being at home sick. Plus I didn't eat an awful lot although the tea included potato wedges as we're trying to use up items in the freezer so it can be defrosted - we always are, never succeed!

Total steps today: 8,028

Friday 4th July
I went back into work today as I was feeling slightly better in the morning plus there were a few things I needed to get on with. I'm glad I went in to get things done but my cough flared up again and the red rash from my runny nose became worse so I ended up doing what I needed to and going home at lunchtime. I had hoped to do some yoga when I got home to help with breathing, I've had a mix of a cold exacerbated by hayfever which sucks PLUS add to the mix monthly female hysteria, anyway, by the time I'd gone to Boots for supplies (Plus a Soap & Glory treat and new moisturiser) then dragged myself up the hill home I started to feel incredibly exhausted again so instead, once The Beast had been tended to, I tucked myself in bed and promptly fell asleep until there was a knock on the door. Food wise again was a little funny, but under on calories, felt slightly nauseous at first but better at night.

Total steps today: 8,365

Saturday 5th July
Still snotty but not feeling as tired, cough is a little better too but my workout has been scuppered yet again in an even worse way, I say even worse as I'm unable to get my steps up either, I've been lying funny as my left hand side, thigh and hip are sore possibly down to the amount of sleeping I've been doing as I've done a lot of sleeping this week, mainly on the one side. I did start to try and workout, I was desperate to get my Sweaty Betty gear on - to see my haul go here. I decided to do some stretching pilates to open up my hip and it did feel a little better so I went on to my HIIT style dvd, it gradually got worse becoming more noticeable during jumping squats with weights. I had to give it up but concentrated on some free weights after but sitting down to avoid putting weight in my lower half so I still managed to burn some calories. Food wise I've been a bit slack, not full of loads of healthy goodies just bits here and there plus my protein shake after the weights (as well as normal food) not over on calories but I am on fat today, not by much, I'm mainly not happy with the quality of food rather than quantity but this is a small blip and I'll be back to normal next week. Even though I can't walk about much I do hope to at least get to 5,000 steps by the end of the day. Tomorrow I plan to do yogalates as this is more stretch rather than jumping so hopefully it will help my hip/thigh, then back to rest on Monday, hopefully by next Tuesday I'll be back and running again - literally.

Total steps today: 4,700

Sunday 6th July
I woke up feeling stiff still but after my usual painkillers and a bit of moving around it feels a bit looser and less sore. Still, I decided to concentrate on yogalates rather than steps. We woke up later than usual, 10am, so we had a late breakfast at 11 then, rather than squeezing in a lunch we skipped straight to tea, slightly earlier than usual so I won't be over on calories. Feeling quite a bit better cold wise but still have a scabby top lip! Don't feel as exhausted as I did so hopefully I'll be back to normal by tomorrow. Yogalates went well, I think a mixture of losing a little bit of weight and becoming more flexible means I've been able to go deeper into my poses!

Total steps today: TBC

Short Term Goals
I want to bring last weeks goal, that I didn't manage to make, forward and aim for 37 miles this week but that's the only goal for the week, oh and get back into my normal routine - hopefully my hip will feel fully back to normal by Tuesday.

Long Term Goals
To get to my goal size so that I can buy some gorgeous new clothes with my £500 ASOS voucher!

Saturday 5 July 2014

Motel Sale Picks/Haul!

Motel Sale Picks

Motel Agatha Collared Jacket in Tartan Red £25.00 (down from £59.00) // Motel Bobbie Skirt £16.00 from ASOS (down from £25.00) // Motel Major Oversized Tee in Bandana Print £19.00 (down from £35.00) // Motel Surianna Oversized Sweater in Original Animal £19.00 (down from 49.00) // Motel Kimono Jacket in Monochrome Symmetry £25.00 (down from £45.00) // Motel Blackbird Stripe Midi Dress in Black £19.00 (down from £45.00) // Motel Surianna Oversized Sweater in Paint Marks £19.00 (down from £45.00) // Motel Folly Strappy Crop in 90s Leopard £12.00 (down from £18.00)

Not featured in the photo above but also picked up;
Motel Major Oversized Tee in 90s Leopard £19.00 (down from £35.00) // Motel Sonia Midi Dress in Original Animal £19.00 (down from £45.00) // Motel Bee Midi Bodycon Skirt in Squashed Rubber £25.00 (Not in the sale but it was such a good price I just had to have it)

I LOVE Motel, I have so many items still in my wardrobe from their early days - they may have bold prints but they just don't get old. Yet I don't always think of purchasing directly from them any longer - a local store stocks some of their items so I tend to pick up things from there, which this year included a gorgeous kimono this encouraged me to get back to shopping on their website - I'm so glad I did as I've just picked up many fantastic items in the sale, pictured above.

Their clothes are always such good quality, versatile and original. I was thinking about the cooler months as well with my purchases, although I also picked up a couple of oversized tees for the rest of summer - I already have one from my local shop which I've been living in while it's been unbelievably hot and sticky at home, I just throw it on over some leggings to lounge in, functional but stylish enough. I plan to do something similar with the oversized sweatshirts come Autumn but I also plan to style them out for nights out with a similar look to the leopard sweatshirt above except a longer black pencil skirt and a lovely pair of heeled boots.

The kimono was a must and I find not only do they make a nice cool throw over item in summer but you can wear them out in winter, I team mine with a long sleeve black bodycon dress. The jacket is also future planning, retro style this autumn, I'll be teaming it with a thick A-line skirt.

Now the black dress (and the leopard print dress not featured in the picture but linked to) are just stunning, practical, anytime dresses which I couldn't afford to not pick up.

The skirt is actually from ASOS but by Motel, a versatile black and white animal print jersey pencil skirt which goes way below the knee - again the heeled boots will come out and I'll team it with a simple black sweatshirt.

Now these are just a few items from the Motel sale, there are so many gorgeous items I don't think you could leave the website without buying something, especially as they're currently offering an extra 20% of the sale price, however the sale ends 9am (BST) Monday 7th July so there isn't long left, get shopping! 

Friday 4 July 2014

Sweaty Betty Sale Haul

Now I always promised myself that when I got to my ideal size I would treat myself to some gorgeous fitness clothing from Sweaty Betty, now I'm not there yet but I justified these purchases thus:
  • I do various exercises, equaling multiple workouts a week.
  • There was a sale!
So these items were in many ways needed. 

Skinny Seamless Headband £6.00 // Kriya Yoga Leggings £20.00 (down from £29.00)  // Galaxy Padded Bra £19.00 (down from £39.00) // Padmasana Yoga Crop Top £13.00 (down from £45.00) 

A good strong crop top is a must, as a big boobed woman I often bounce the stretch out of my crop tops in about six months. So I picked up two, both extremely supportive as well as looking absolutely bloody gorgeous! I also picked up some leggings - I always wear leggings, I hate wearing loose workout gear - too much of a tripping hazard! Now these are full length ones so I will wait until the weather is cooler to wear these but hopefully that won't be long. I had to get a little accessory too, the headband is needed though as I have a fringe and a few other loose bits of hair that wont tie back but also work loose from my hair clips so this headband has a job to do!

Ultraviolet Dance Cami £13.00 (down from £45.00) // Camden Vest £19.00 (down from £39.00) 

Two more items, the cami on the left is a stretchy, tight type of top - I like to layer these over my sport crop tops for extra support for my more hardcore workouts that involve a lot of movements, twisting and weightlifting. The loose vest on the right is to help me through the warmer months, even though I do all my workouts at home I would't dare just wear a crop top on its own, no matter how much I'd want to, so this incredibly light and loose top will serve as a thin cover up for the rest of the summer months, pretty neat right?

So that's it, until I hit my target at least my boxing, hiit, cross trainer, weightlifting, cardio parties, yoga, pilates, yogalates sessions will now be even more stylish - the only thing I'm missing is a new pair of trainers - time to get hunting!

Thursday 3 July 2014

Barry M Summer Limited Edition Nail Paint in Bikini

I had to go and get another of the Barry M special editions, at least one from each shop that was offering them, I'd already been to Superdrug so time to head to Boots, out of the two available I decided the one for me was Bikini. 

As usual with Barry M the quality is there, comparatively better than other nail varnishes at the same price. It applies smoothly, dries in average time and lasts at least a day without a top coat, longer with. Two coats is enough for even coverage. Bikini is a gorgeous cornflower blue that, in certain lights, has a hint of purple.

Barry M never fails to deliver, I'd highly recommend picking up their limited edition shades while they're available.  

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Maybelline Great Lash Blackest BLACK Mascara - 90's Nostalgia

Now I have to admit I was feeling slightly nostalgic when I bought this mascara. Although Maybelline Great Lash mascara had been out for decades it really was the BIG mascara of the 1990's, you had Wonderbra to boost your boobs (also had been out for a while but made a bigger impact in the 1990's) and Maybelline for your eyelashes. I was a teen in the mid 90's and had a few holidays in the U.S. so managed to pick it up before it was launched in the U.K. Until now I haven't picked it up since.

Mascara has come along way in the last twenty years along with our expectations, we've gone from barely there natural looking lashes to unbelievably over the top eyelashes as the norm. Now this mascara does what it did back when I first tried it, it does my boost my lashes, not exactly like some of the HD XXL style mascaras today but enough to make them stand out rather than fade to nothing. It's a good strong black, the brush is simple but separates my lashes leaving no clumps. 

Now although it doesn't quite have the wow factor it did in the past it is still a good, basic, daytime mascara and everyone needs one of them.